The Migraine Research Foundation reports that migraine is the 3rd most common illness and the 6th most disabling illness across the globe. Migraines affect a staggering 18% of women in the United States, as well as 6% of men and 10% of children nationwide, and are most prevalent among those aged 25 to 55. While women are more likely to experience migraines owing to certain hormonal factors, 90% of all sufferers routinely find themselves unable to work or function normally during a migraine. In the U.S., nearly 1 in 4 households is inhabited by an individual who suffers from migraine headaches.
As anyone who has experienced one knows, migraines can bring about debilitating pain that prevents the sufferer from engaging in his or her normal activities. A migraine attack can last anywhere from 4 to 72 hours, and may be accompanied by a broad spectrum of symptoms. The most common migraine symptoms include throbbing pain-which is experienced by 85% of sufferers-and others include sensitivity to light and sound, nausea and vomiting, pain on one side, altered and blurred vision, and auras.
Given the ubiquity of migraines, it is perhaps no surprise that there are an ever-expanding number of medical treatments and home remedies available to sufferers. Ibuprofen and aspirin are commonly prescribed for migraine relief, as are preventative medications such as beta-blockers. While these treatments are effective for treating some migraines, a substantial portion of the 37 million migraine sufferers in the U.S. (and especially the 2-3 million sufferers of chronic migraines) find little to no relief in these options. For those whose migraines don’t respond to conventional medical treatment, so-called “natural” approaches to migraine headache pain management abound-especially online. Some of these include scalp massage, dietary changes, flaxseed or other sources of omega-3 fatty acids, lavender, peppermint, and basil oils, flavonoids, and a broad array of herbs. While these remedies are widely circulated among those seeking migraine relief, their efficacy is generally limited, and even doubtful.
Fortunately, migraine treatment isn’t limited to these first-line options. That being said, many migraine sufferers aren’t quite sure where to go when conventional treatment comes up short. The reality is that as of 2016, the U.S. is home to approximately 500 certified headache specialists-and a staggeringly low 4% of migraine sufferers seeking medical treatment consult with one. Yet the solutions these highly knowledgeable professionals have to offer entail a high likelihood of diminishing or eliminating pain that more conservative treatment options do not. So for those who are suffering migraine pain that has yet to be adequately addressed, a headache specialist should be your next stop.
The Pain Management Center at Blue Valley is comprised of a team of pain specialists dedicated to getting you back on the path to wellness. Under the direction of Deborah Ruggles, MD, our Headache Management Clinic endeavors to stay on top of the most recent and most innovative approaches to migraine headache pain management. For those experiencing chronic headache pain related to another condition, we also offer a number of interventions for the treatment of orthopedic and spine conditions.
For more information on treatment options for migraine headaches or to schedule a consultation, call Blue Valley Healthcare at (866) 274-5774. Blue Valley Healthcare is a Medicaid and Medicare provider and can see patients quickly for a consultation with one of our dedicated pain management specialists.Share